A Summary of the Cal/Arm debate as I see it...

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Skandelon, Apr 28, 2011.

  1. Skandelon

    Skandelon
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    Calvinist: Man cannot be saved on his own.

    Arminian: I agree, but that is why God sent the Word...the life giving truth and appeal for all to be reconciled.

    Calvinist: The Word is not enough because men are born dead in their sin and enemies of God

    Arminian: I agree that we're dead enemies of God, but where does it say the life giving message of reconciliation is not enough to revive the dead? Where does it say man can't respond in faith to God's life giving means, the power of His salvation--the gospel message?

    Calvinist: Romans 3:10, "NO ONE is righteous...NO ONE seeks God!!!"

    Arminian: I agree. It says we aren't righteous and can't seek him, understand him, or obey him on our own. We are not on our own anymore, the Holy Spirit wrought gospel of reconciliation has come. Now where is the verse that says God's enemies can't respond to the word sent for the purpose of reconciliation?

    Calvinists: Romans 8:7-8: Man can't submit to the law. Those in the flesh can't please God.

    Arminian: I agree. That says man cannot subject himself to the law of God, we are talking about responding in faith to the one who fulfilled the law for us. It also says that while we remain in flesh we cannot please God, but it says nothing about man's ability or lack thereof to leave the flesh and walk in faith once confronted with the life giving truth of reconciliation.

    Calvinists: 1 Cor. 2:14, The natural man can't even believe the gospel.

    Arminian: It doesn't say that. It teaches the natural man cannot recieve the "deep things of God" (vs. 10). And its clear that from the following verses that the "brethren" in Corith were also not able to recieve these "things" to which Paul was refering. Plus, if you read Romans 1 you can see the natural man can "understand and clearly see the divine attributes and eternal nature of our God." In fact, that is why they stand condemned and "without excuse" on the day of judgement. The natural man can understand and recieve what God chooses to reveal of himself to the world through natural revelation and the gospel message. They can't understand what the Holy Spirit teaches to those who walk in the spirit, the "deep things of God," which even some believers don't always do.

    Calvinist: John 6, No one can come to Jesus unless the Father draws him.

    Arminian: When Jesus was preaching that sermon in John 6 the gospel (God's means of drawing all men to himself) hadn't yet been sent out. The Gentiles hadn't been sent the gospel (that wasn't sent until the Paul was called and Peter had his dream). And the Jews couldn't believe and come to Jesus because they had been sent a spirit of stupor (Romans 10) and the gospel was being hidden from them in parables (Matt. 13) because they were being hardened (John 12:39-40) but that hardening was not unto certain condemnation (Romans 11:14) but it was temporary (Rom. 11:25) and purposeful (Acts 28:21-28). Once the gospel, the appeal for the world to be reconciled (2 Cor 5) is sent, Jesus ascends into heaven, and the HS comes, He draws all men to himself (Jn 12:32). Until that time however only a select few were "given to Jesus" for him to train and prepare to be the foundation for the church to come after his death, burial and resurrection.

    Calvinists: All people are born totally unable to come to Jesus.

    Arminian: So, then why does God blind the eyes, deafening the ears and hardening the hearts of Israel so as to prevent them from coming to faith? (Mark 4, Matt 13 etc)

    Calvinist: See, judicial hardening proves God doesn't want some people saved. If he wanted them saved why would he hardened them like you say?

    Arminian: They weren't born hardened. God held out his hands to them (Rom. 10:21) and desired to gather them under his saving wings (Matt. 23:37) but they were unwilling. He hardened them to accomplish his purposes of redemption which included Jesus' death on the cross, carried out by hardened Jews, and the ingrafting of the Gentiles into the covenant, also made possible through the temporary hardening of the Jews. In addition, this ingrafting was meant to provoke the stubborn Jews to salvation. (Romans 11:14) The Jew is being hardened but the Gentile will listen (Acts 28:28)

    Calvinists: Well, isn't that "unfair" by your standards? Doesn't God violate the Jew's free will?

    Arminian: Now THAT is the question Paul is answering in Romans 9!!! He is not answering the objection of an Arminian, he is answering the objection of a rebellious hardened Jew. Read it again with that in mind and it will make more sense to you. And chapter 10 and 11 will also make more sense too.

    Calvinists: But men cannot be saved on his own

    Arminian: Arrrrrgggg!!! Let's start over...
     
    #1 Skandelon, Apr 28, 2011
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  2. Allan

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    Skan, what you have given is 'your' view in contention with Cals, NOT Arminians. In fact, Arminians agree with Cals on the issue of the inward working of the Spirit on a person to understand spiritual truths.

    Thus I state it is actually 'your' view because of the qualifier which you give in the argument that neither Reformed/Classical or Wesleyan Arminians hold to, and that qualifier being - there is no internal working of God but only normative or outward means. This fact actually removes the Arminian completely from the argument.

    Arminians of both main branches affirm that no man can come to understand spiritual knowledge of or by Himself but that God must bring the man to understand the spiritual truths of His Word by revelation/opening their eyes also understood as preveneint grace (that inward working of the Holy Spirit).
     
    #2 Allan, Apr 29, 2011
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  3. Skandelon

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    I see what you are saying, and that may be true of many, but I don't believe it is true of all. Just as there have been many nuanced positions within the history of Calvinism, there are differing brands of Arminianism as well. Here me out.

    As I explained to you in another thread (which went unanswered btw, not that you have to reply to all my posts or anything but it may have provided more clarity) I do believe there is an "inward" work, but I believe it comes through and is a result of the outward means. (i.e. the gospel preached {outward means} results in understanding {inward change})

    I don't believe it is a separate, independent, irresistible work that causes one to understand thus making him responsible from that point forward. Now, I think many scholarly classical "Arminians" believed and taught that God works through outward means to bring internal change. So, like me, they don't deny the need for an internal working of the HS, they just never separate it from being a direct result of God's chosen and revealed outward means. Granted, some verbalize that differently than I have, but the concept is the same.

    So, when some Arminians say 'grace' is 'resistible' we are talking about the grace of God's means to bring salvation. You seem to teach that the HS's work of waking someone and giving them understanding is irresistible and universal, but where is that concept taught? How will they know and understand without a preacher? The internal light being turned on comes THROUGH and is a direct result of the outward means God has chosen to accomplish that task, but those means are resistible, not effectual. See my point?

    I agree with that point.

    I would just reword that to say, "God must bring the man to understand the spiritual truth by His Word which is his chosen means of revelation."

    Yes, an inward work accomplished "through," "by," and "as a result of" an outward means.
     
    #3 Skandelon, Apr 29, 2011
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  4. JesusFan

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    depends IF you see that man cannot receive the Gospel totally apart from work of the Lord, that He he need God to "wake him up" first...

    And where in the scripture did Paul or any other Apostle teach on the doctrine of "common/prevelient" grace God supplies?

    Good summery of the topic!
     
    #4 JesusFan, Apr 29, 2011
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  5. Iconoclast

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    Allan sees it that same way I do here.....in another post you questioned the inner working of the Spirit as necessary? This is one big area I would urge you to reconsider. Even in this thread you strain against the clear inplication with your 1cor2:14 explanation.
    The Spirit is given to quicken the dead sinner,and to enable him to receive the word
     
  6. Allan

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    What mainstream group of Arminians (that hold to their 5 points) disagrees?
    For them to disagree of the inward, independent working/revealing of the Holy Spirit to bring people to understand His word.. disagrees with the tenants of the Arminian views of either Classical/Reformed and Weslyan.
    If one does, one might be Arminianistic but not really Arminian since they would deny one of the core tenants of their view.

    No sir, I answered you, you just didn't like the answer. That does not mean I did not answer you.

    Yes, and that is inconsistent with mainline and common Arminian theology.

    With the exception of the word I placed in bold, Arminian theology (as well as I and those of the Reformed view) disagree with you.

    I haven't found any, but that doesn't mean much. Maybe you could cite some of them and the work they did that speaks to that view, to help me see it. Just because the Holy Spirit used the Word to convict and illicit change, that comes about (even according to Arminians) through the revealing work of the Holy Spirit upon them so that they can understand.

    Arminians hold that no man can even understand the word apart from the work of the Holy Spirit. I can supply citations from Arminius and others from both Classical and Weslyan if you wish.

    You haven't established any hold to your view on this subject.
    And yes they do deny it. On every site, and book that I have on the subject shows both groups hold that a person must be graced by the Spirit of God in the overcoming of the depraved nature so that the person may be freed to understand and believe the gospel of Christ Jesus. They also agree that sinners must be enabled by the Spirit of God through grace to understand the Word of God through His revealing of it to the depraved mind.

    No, that is what you are meaning. Again, in researching this, I have found nothing to this effect brother.

    In scripture, and both the Classical and Wesleyan Arminianism agrees.'
    So again, you are not speaking for Arminians.. though maybe a smaller Arminianistic group.

    If you are speaking SPECIFICALLY of the gospel, yes. However Romans 1 states that God reveals some of the basic spiritual truths (sin, righteousness, and the Judgment to come) through nature, and then address that in man conscience we also have a witness against us.. but how would we know unless, as scripture states, God reveals it to man. If man believes these basic truths God will send more light/truth to them that they might believe and be saved. (thus that is where the preacher comes in)

    No. What I see is God revealing to man and the work of the Spirit of God enabling that man to understand the Word of God because his natural mind in and of itself (apart from the interaction of the Spirit revealing) can not grasp those things.
    I agree and that understanding does not come from his own ability to understand but the Spirit of God revealing those saving Truths to Him as he reads it.

    All I am saying is please show where your view is something held by Arminians in order to validate the claim of what you stated is a definitive view among them or at least a good many of them.
     
  7. Allan

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    We find it is the same place we see them teach on the Trinity and infant salvation. :)

    Actually it is a concept seem all over scripture, and even some Puritans held to Prevenient Grace.. though the view at times varied
     
  8. JesusFan

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    mind to elaborate please?
     
  9. kyredneck

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    Synopsis of Cal/Arm debate:

    Scripture states, “So then he hath mercy on whom he will, and whom he will be hardeneth.”

    Cal says, “So be it”.

    Arm says to Cal, “Why doth he still find fault? For who withstandeth his will?”
     
    #9 kyredneck, Apr 29, 2011
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  10. Allan

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    No. The last part should say - Arminian asks the Cal: How come you never use that verse in it's context but rather as a pre-text to a proof-text. :laugh:

    With that, I'm out for a bit.. way to tired to continue.. c-yall
     
  11. kyredneck

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    18 So then he hath mercy on whom he will, and whom he will be hardeneth.
    19 Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he still find fault? For who withstandeth his will?
    20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why didst thou make me thus?

    This passage indeed sums up the entire gist of the Cal/Arm debate.
     
    #11 kyredneck, Apr 29, 2011
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  12. Skandelon

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    Because I believe the gospel IS a work of the Lord in every respects then I cannot make the distinction you have made here.
     
  13. Skandelon

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    I was referring to my reply your response, but I'm wasn't trying to imply you hadn't answered, just that you may have better understood this answer had you replied to my rebuttal of your other posts. That is all.

    Actually, even in your view the act of making one "wake up" is an irresistible work applied to all man, isn't it? Did I misunderstand?

    I can, but my fear is that it will become an interpretive game of "he supports my view"..."no, he supports my view" because both views acknowledge the need for means and an inward working...my view (which I believe is supported by other scholars) doesn't separate these as independent workings, but instead as intricately connected like a cause and effect.

    That may be the case, but I think you may be surprised at how many refuse to separate the means from the inward working, whether they mean it exactly the same way I do or not.

    It's like with the Judicial hardening of Pharaoh, for example. Some think God did some internal inward blinding of his heart to make him unable to see the plain truth of the plagues. Others say God used more normative means, like magicians or a woman whispering in his ear (like the movie depicts), but either way it was God actively keeping Pharaoh in the dark. I just think there is a much stronger case to be made for God working in and through normative means. If not, then He just isn't real consistent because there are so many examples of when God could have turned on an inward switch to make someone willing to obey and follow, but instead chose outward/normative circumstances to convince them to change.

    Paul's use of persuasion and the scriptures continued use of that term lends itself in support of this view because it shows that such is necessary...


    And honestly, I wouldn't take issue with anyone who taught this, but I would just say that there is NEVER a time someone is reading the word of God where the Spirit is not revealing himself, regardless of whether they accept what they read or not. The words themselves are spirit and life. (John 6) They will be judged by those words! (Jn 12).

    I'm at a coffee shop now and not near my library, so I'll get back to you on this...but like I said, I'd like to deal first with the validity of my arguments in light of scripture, not other men.
     
  14. Skandelon

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    :thumbsup: On that point we most certainly do agree! :laugh:
     
  15. JesusFan

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    just was saying here that unless the Lord allows You to have the understanding of what the Gospel is, will stay in darkness and sin...

    that its BOTH internal external operation...
    Holy Spirit convicts of sin, grants you the repentance to believe and receive jesus Christ..

    Both cal and arm say God is giving the grace to believe and be saved...
    cal say that its JUST applied to the elect/chosen of God...
    arm says that God gave grace enough to allow all to believe and receive, its up to you!
     
    #15 JesusFan, Apr 29, 2011
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  16. Skandelon

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    Who is being hardened?

    The Jews. Not all of them. A remnant (like Paul and the other apostles) were reserved from the hardening process, but generally speaking the nation of Israel is being "cut off" or "hardened." With that in mind, read on...

    Who is protesting? Is it the arminian? Is it a man born without any hope of ever coming to God?

    OR

    Is it a temporarily hardened Jew, who God held out his hands to for generations (Rm 10:21) but who was unwilling to be saved? (Matt 23:37), but who now is being sealed in his rebellion so as to accomplish redemption and the ingrafting of the Gentiles?

    What does the lump of clay represent?

    Israel. From the same lump God has made some for common use (temporarily hardened) and others from the same lump of Israel he formed some into apostles to be used for the nobel purposes of taking the message of redemption to the world.

    This has nothing to do with God damning most of mankind to hell from birth while selecting to save a few. Paul would roll over in his grave if he knew people took his words this way. The same people who are hardened/cut off are the people Paul loved so much he was willing to be accursed for their sakes at the beginning of the chapter and they are they same people he says will be provoked to envy by his ministry and may come to faith (Rom. 11:14), which clearly negates the concept that those hardened are the non-elect reprobates destined from birth to an eternal hell.

    Yes it does, and it debunks Calvinism quite well when understood in its context.
     
  17. Skandelon

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    I understand what you were saying, but where do we even get the idea that normal people can't understand the plain, simple truth of the gospel?

    They can understand buddhism and other false teachings, why would God make people able to understand and believe simple language that teaches lies but unable to understand and believe simple language that teaches truth?
     
  18. JesusFan

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    I agree with you here, its just the question IF it is faith internally in us, that we can "produce" it of ourselnes, or else if it is externally produced by the Lord thru his Holy Spirit...

    Either way, we all agree the Gospel is the power of God unto salavtion, to both Jews/Gentiles!
     
  19. Skandelon

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    Oh, yes it is produced through hearing. "Faith cometh by hearing" not "Faith cometh by hearing and a supernatural enabling to understand basic language"
     
  20. kyredneck

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    22 What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering vessels of wrath fitted unto destruction:
    23 and that he might make known the riches of his glory upon vessels of mercy, which he afore prepared unto glory,
    24 even us, whom he also called, not from the Jews only, but also from the Gentiles?

    It's a prominent theme presented to us throughout Romans; God is no respector of persons, one way or the other.
     

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